The FBI Profiles a Militia Member As part of their report, Agents Duffy and Brantley developed a profile of a typical militia group member. White males ranging in age from early 20s to mid-50s. Attracted to the movement because of gun control issues believing that the government wants to disarm the people and abolish the second amendment.
Generally maintain strong Christian beliefs. Ardent defenders of the Constitution. Feel they represent the ideological legacy of the Founding Fathers. Agents Duffy and Brantley conclude that the modern militias’ tendency to challenge laws and the authority of elected officials create a very real threat to public safety. Yet, they also report that many militia groups condemned the Oklahoma City bombing and do not condone the use of violence in pursuit of their goals.
The Militia Threat Assessment Typology In dealing with antigovernment militia groups, the FBI recommends law enforcement agencies first determine the threat level, if any posed by the group. To assist them, Agent Alan S. Brantley and former Agent Gregory Cooper of the FBI’s Critical Incident and Response Group in Quantico created this "Militia Threat Assessment Typology." Category I Militia Groups (Least Threat)
Conduct paramilitary training. Base their organizational philosophies on antigovernment rhetoric. Maintain a primarily defensive philosophical posture. Plans for violent action are contingent upon perceived government provocation. Engage in no known criminal activity.
Category II Militia Groups Conduct paramilitary training. Base their organizational philosophies on antigovernment rhetoric. Maintain a primarily defensive philosophical posture. Plans for violent action are contingent upon perceived government provocation. Engage in criminal activity to acquire weapons and explosives. Criminal activity may range from minor firearm violations, e.g., illicit weapons sales and transfer, to modifications and property crimes.
Category III Militia Groups Conduct paramilitary training. Base their organizational philosophies on extreme antigovernment rhetoric, denoting deep suspicion and paranoia. Group may direct threats towards specific individuals or institutional targets.
Maintain a primarily defensive philosophical posture. Plans for violent action are contingent upon perceived government provocation, but response plans are highly detailed and may include an escalation of overt acts beyond planning such as testing explosive devices, gathering intelligence, and identifying/conducting surveillance of potential targets.
Engage in criminal activity ranging from property crimes to crimes of interpersonal violence, e.g., resisting arrest, armed robberies, burglaries, and attempts to provoke confrontations with government officials.
Category IV Militia Groups (Greatest Threat) Demonstrate many of the same traits and characteristics as category III groups but are likely to be smaller, more isolated cells or fringe groups whose members have grown frustrated with their peers' unwillingness to pursue a more aggressive strategy. Often maintain an openly offensive, rather than defensive posture.
May grow out of other less threatening militia groups or may evolve independently from any other group associations. Often attract individuals with frank mental disorders. These individuals may either act alone or with a small number of associates who share similar paranoid/disordered beliefs. Plot and engage in serious criminal activity, e.g., homicides, bombings, and other acts of a terrorist nature.
Related Links: Militias: Initiating Contact Full text of 1995 paper by FBI Agents James E. Duffy and Alan C. Brantley, M.A. FBI Admits Use of Pyrotechnic Devices Official FBI Press Release of August 25, 1999 FBI Tape Includes Tear Gas Decision US Marshals take custody of tape from FBI headquarters. Story in Washington Post. Reno Says FBI Mislead Her About Waco Arms Attorney General Reno claims she was assured by FBI that no pyrotechnic devices were used in raid. Story in Washington Post.